Iowa Interstate Railroad Equips Entire Locomotive Fleet with Streaming Event Recorder

Wi-Tronix, LLC formally announced today that it has equipped Iowa Interstate Railroad’s (IAIS) entire locomotive fleet with Violet.


Violet is a real-time, streaming event recorder and advanced video analytics solution that railroads use to manage their fleets through the Wi-Tronix website, offered as a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS), from anywhere in world on any device.


The Violet hardware platform consists of an event recorder (ER), digital video recorder (DVR), Locomotive Data Acquisition Recording System (LDARS), and Crash-Hardened Memory Module (CHMM) in a single compact device.


The key difference between Violet and other products is its streaming, real-time data capabilities. Data from the locomotive like speed, Positive Train Control (PTC) data, GPS location, throttle notch, and dozens of other signals are sent to the railroad via a cloud-based website. Information is accessible to railroad management to monitor efficiency of operations and location and safety of fleet. The solution enables railroads to comply with federal regulations and to improve operational efficiency and safety procedures.


IAIS’s installation of Violet on its entire fleet allows the railroad to realize the fullest benefits of the system by connecting its assets to a digital network.


IAIS has found many additional applications of the Violet solution, especially in advanced video analytics. Violet aggregates petabytes of video data in an IoT approach to create actionable information from the locomotive video. Using Violet, IAIS completed video surveys of its mileposts along the track’s right-of-way. Violet’s high-definition cameras and video analytics software analyze the milepost signage and compile the data to create an automated survey and database of all the mileposts. This saves the railroad significant time, cost, and resources by completing a geo-mapping survey during normal locomotive operation.


IAIS is the first railroad to complete geo-mapping surveys of its mileposts using Violet’s artificial intelligence-based video analytics.


According to Andrew Reid, IAIS’s Chief Mechanical Officer of Locomotives, IAIS uses the real-time streaming alerts to monitor its automatic engine start/stop systems. The data provides the team with important information to ensure these systems are functioning properly in order for their locomotives to realize maximum fuel savings.


IAIS also has the opportunity, like all Wi-Tronix customers, to contribute feedback and requests for future software features. These features become available in software releases that are pushed through over-the-air updates to the locomotive hardware. In essence, the solution continuously advances and grows with the railroad to deliver lasting value.


“We truly appreciate Wi-Tronix in the way they listened to what we needed and got it done,” said Joe Parsons, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at IAIS. “They are a true partner, which is refreshing as that is an extremely uncommon attribute for most vendors. We look forward to a continued, successful partnership with Wi-Tronix.”


The Violet system also meets federal requirements of recording Positive Train Control (PTC) data. PTC is the federally-mandated safety system required for rail lines over which 5 million or more gross tons are transported annually—that handle any poisonous-inhalation- hazardous (PIH) materials and any railroad main lines over which regularly scheduled intercity passenger or commuter rail services are provided. PTC automatically stops a train to avoid train-to-train collisions and other safety-related accidents.


PTC generates many event logs, including PTC banner messages and prompts. These messages appear on the in-cab monitor prompting an engineer to take action for braking a train. Violet displays these messages within the Violet View webpage and fuses data including PTC message, speed, location, maps, and real-time images. Violet displays real- time data creates a historical log of PTC data in order to simplify troubleshooting system issues and investigating incidents.


About Iowa Interstate Railroad

Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS), based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a regional carrier with rail connections to all Class I railroads. It operates daily between Omaha, Nebraska and Chicago and Peoria, Illinois. This access gives the railroad leverage to offer its customers quality and timely service as well as competitive rates. The railroad prides itself in safety and in providing quality and timely service in working with its customers to meet their individual shipping needs. IAIS’s mission is “To satisfy our customers by providing safe, quality transportation services, in a way that enables our customers and our company to succeed.”

For more information on IAIS, please visit the railroad’s website:


About Wi-Tronix

Wi-Tronix is a leading provider of remote monitoring, video analytics, and predictive diagnostic solutions for high-value mobile assets in rail, marine, mining, and other industrial markets. Utilizing both edge computing and cloud-based SaaS services, Wi-Tronix provides real-time data aggregation and analytics on an unprecedented scale. Wi-Tronix works closely with its customers to improve the safety, service reliability, and operational efficiency of their transportation systems. The entire Wi-Tronix team is passionately committed to our global vision of saving lives and ensuring the most efficient and reliable movement of goods and people throughout the world. Wi-Tronix corporate headquarters are located in Bolingbrook, Illinois.